Special Cup

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The Special Cup logo in Mario Kart 8

The Special Cup is the final cup in Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, as well as the last of the Nitro Cups since Mario Kart DS. In Mario Kart: Super Circuit is it the last of the "standard" courses, with the Extra Cups being unlocked afterwards and Extra Special Cup being the final cup. The Special Cup consists of long, challenging courses with lots of gimmicks and harder difficulties. Notably, this cup always culminates with Rainbow Road as the game's climactic course. Starting in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Bowser's Castle is the penultimate course before Rainbow Road.

Aside from Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe where the cup is available from the start, the criteria to unlock the Special Cup varies by game, although in all games, the Star Cup must be completed successfully. In Super Mario Kart, the player may unlock it by winning all three cups in 100cc (though it will be unavailable for the 50cc class); in Mario Kart: Super Circuit it is available by winning the four previous cups, each by class; in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, it appears after the player finished first in the Star Cup in 100cc; from Mario Kart DS onwards, it is unlocked once the player claims a trophy in the Star Cup.

The emblem of the Special Cup is a smiling crown, which first appeared in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. In previous installments the emblem is completely different, for instance, in Super Mario Kart, this cup lacks an unique emblem and instead uses a combination of the three emblems for the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, and Star Cup respectively; and in Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, it is represented by the letter "S", the initial of "special."

List of courses[edit]

Game Course 1 Course 2 Course 3 Course 4 Course 5
Super Mario Kart SNES Donut Plains 3.png
Donut Plains 3
SNES Koopa Beach 2.png
Koopa Beach 2
SNES Ghost Valley 3.png
Ghost Valley 3
SNES Vanilla Lake 2.png
Vanilla Lake 2
SNES Rainbow Road.png
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart 64 MK64-icon-DKsJungleParkway.gif
DK's Jungle Parkway
Yoshi Valley
Banshee Boardwalk
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart: Super Circuit LakesidePark.png
Lakeside Park
Broken Pier
Bowser Castle 4
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! WarioColosseumIcon-MKDD.png
Wario Colosseum
Dino Dino Jungle
Bowser's Castle
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart DS Estadiowario.PNG
Wario Stadium
Peach GardensDS.PNG
Peach Gardens
Castillo Bowser.PNG
Bowser Castle
Rainbow RoadDS.PNG
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart Wii Dry Dry Ruins.PNG
Dry Dry Ruins
Moonview Highway
Bowser's Castle
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart 7 DKJungle.png
DK Jungle
Rosalina's Ice World
Bowser's Castle
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe MK8-Course-CloudtopCruise.png
Cloudtop Cruise
Bone-Dry Dunes
Bone Dry Dunes
Bowser's Castle
Rainbow Road

Mario Tennis Open[edit]

Mario winning the Champions Cup

The Special Cup reappears in Mario Tennis Open. In this game it is called the Champions Cup. It is the last cup in the World Open tournament series. Players can unlock this cup when they clear the Banana Cup. When players clear this cup, their character earns a star rank, which boosts their stats and grants them access to the Star Open tournament series. The Champions Cup takes place in Mario Stadium, with the hard, clay, and grass courts being used for the starting, semifinal, and final rounds respectively. Matches for this cup have one set for the starting round, three sets for the semifinals, and five sets for the finals.

Trading Card info[edit]


"Two Special Cup tracks, Bowser's Castle and Rainbow Road, have been Special Cup stalwarts. This time around the names may be the same, but the layouts are new & improved—and they're no cakewalk. In fact, these could be some of the most difficult tracks in Mario Kart Wii."




Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese スペシャルカップ
Supesharu kappu
Special Cup
Spanish Copa Especial Special Cup
French Coupe Spéciale Special Cup
Dutch Speciale Beker Special Cup
German Spezial-Cup Special Cup
Italian Trofeo Speciale Special Trophy
Portuguese Taça Especial Special Cup
Russian Особый кубок
Osobyy kubok
Special Cup
Korean 스페셜 컵
Seupesyeol Keop
Special Cup
Chinese 特別盃 (Traditional)
Tèbié Bēi
皇冠杯 (Simplified, Mario Kart 7)
Huángguàn Bēi
神游杯 (Simplified, Mario Kart 64)[1]
Shényóu Bēi
特别杯 (Simplified, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe)
Tèbié Bēi
Special Cup

Crown Cup

iQue Cup

Special Cup


  • In Super Mario Kart, the player can access the Special Cup before unlocking it in Time Trial mode by pressing buttons in this sequence: L Button R Button L Button R Button L Button L Button R Button R Button A Button.
  • Mario Kart 64's Special Cup is the only Special Cup to have all of its tracks remade.
  • In the Chinese version of Mario Kart 64, the Special Cup is called the "iQue Cup", named after of the home console iQue Player, which is not available outside China.
  • If Grand Prix mode in Mario Kart Wii is highlighted, the Special Cup trophy from that game can be seen in the background.
  • In Mario Kart 7


  1. ^ iQue's localization of Mario Kart 64